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Thread: District Meetings

  1. #16
    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    At times our District ESLs meetings have been frustrating for lack of progress from one to the next with few if any District activities but a new DESC after several years without one has helped with more progress made between meetings and a few different District or County Explorer events to discuss making the meeting feel much more worthwhile

    ------ Update --- The Following was Added within 30 Minutes of the above ---

    Quote Originally Posted by daveb123 View Post
    Whilst there is a lot of truth in what you say, the District Meetings involving section leaders are Chaired by the respective Commissioner so to change the Chairman would be to change the Commissioner; which in some cases may be needed, but there are others who are good at what they do but can't chair a meeting to save their life.
    Not necessarily so, there is no reason that the DC, ADC or DESC has to chair the District meeting they can delegate that if chairing a meeting is not their strong point

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

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    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith at 2M View Post
    I think almost all of Epona's excellent guidelines were ignored, there seemed to be a general rule that the fewer Explorers you had in your unit, the more you had to say.

    I have taken Chris' advice and saved myself four evenings next year already. Thanks
    Excellent - so nothing will get done to make things better.

    Any meeting is only as good as the people who are there.

    What do YOU want from this meeting?

    We have District ESL meetings - sometimes I come away frustrated - I then discuss with various people and either concede my thought or come back another way.

    There is only one way that Explorers will work properly and that is by communication and working together.

    I know every Explorer leader in our District - I have their phone numbers and talk to them - they may not buy into my ideas - that I have no problem with. It took time to get to the stage where we talk to each other. It won't happen overnight and more importantly there is no one who will sort it for you on their own - you take on Explorers - you are part of District.

    Ignoring the issues or not getting involved is compounding the issues.

    Barney

  3. #18
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barney255 View Post
    Excellent - so nothing will get done to make things better.

    Any meeting is only as good as the people who are there.

    snip

    Ignoring the issues or not getting involved is compounding the issues.

    Barney
    A couple of years back I would have agreed with you, but I'm afraid that I've given up that fight as it was too painful. Those of us with the will can only do so much, we can only push and pull so often. If people won't turn up, if they won't contribute, if they are constantly negative, then at some point you have to say, enough is enough and concentrate efforts on where they are wanted.

    Despite having organised climbing competitions, archery competitions, activity camps, pioneering camps, cooking competitions and three District Camps (the only three District Camps in 19 years), Despite keeping Explorers running for alomst 10 years on our own, all we ever got was negativity, can't do this, can't do that, don't like this... and no ideas coming from anyone else. Despite trying to help people sort out their screwed up Executives, and help them address recruiting issues it was crystal clear that they didn't want to do anything much at all and they didn't appreciate the time or effort I put into making these things happen. Even at the DEC it got to the stage where meetings were spent talking and three months later the same issues were talked about again and still nothing was done. We can talk all we like but if the DC won't act, then what can you do?

    Sometimes the best route for an individual and his/ her Group can be to walk away, hoist the Jolly Roger and do their own thing. To continue operating in a void is very demoralising.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





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  4. #19
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    Hold meetings in the pub. Don't discuss Scouting for the first two or three pints.

    Suitably 'refreshed', you'll be having some of the best programme ideas you've ever had. Take lots of paper and pens as the best planning diagrams/maps/idea-dumps will overflow a beermat.

  5. #20
    Grey but not that old Alfbranch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith at 2M View Post
    I have taken Chris' advice and saved myself four evenings next year already. Thanks
    Well done now this committee will not review the decision from 8 years ago and have now won all of the arguments you wish to win as you have given in to them.
    Alf

    Group Scout leader 1st Hensingham Scouts Western Lakes District
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  6. #21
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

    Can we change this decision: no
    Can we change this decision: no
    Can we change this decision: no
    Can we change this decision: no
    Can we change this decision: no

    ad nauseam

    sometimes we can change things... but sometimes, life is short, time is precious and when the status quo will definitely not change... you have a choice to make.

    I once sat through a cub leaders' meeting as a group rep and watched them debate over about a three quids' worth of gift aid...

    cub craft competition: 20p entry
    question: how do we get gift aid details for people so that they can gift aid it.

    I offered to pay the gift aid... about 3 just to move on...

    instead... they chose an option that was illegal. Only 3 worth of illegal. but still illegal...

    i walked away and stopped going to those meetings... the pack was not affected and the terminally stupid kept having their little socials.

  7. #22
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfbranch View Post
    Well done now this committee will not review the decision from 8 years ago and have now won all of the arguments you wish to win as you have given in to them.
    In the meantime Keith can get on with doing what he does.

    As I said, previously I would have agreed, but you can only bang your head off a brick wall so often.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



    www.upperdearnevalleynavigators.org.uk

  8. #23
    Keith at 2M Keith at 2M's Avatar
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    In an ideal World I'd be prepared to fight but I look at the meeting and realise that in this instance things will not change. My head is already sore from banging. There have been no District events for at least two years and the Meeting did not consider that there was anything wrong with this...

    To instigate debate or change you need people who respect others' views or are at least prepared to listen, not just shout them down. What do I want from a meeting? - I want to discuss activities that work, I want an exciting District Programme to supplement what I am offering, especially events that I cannot offer. I want the meeting to consider the issues that concern my Explorers, not have their views dismissed as soon as I mention the fact I asked them if they had anything they wanted raised. They decided the Explorers would not want a District Explorer Forum. (and missed the irony in their decision)

    Barney's scenario sounds ideal, its just a long drive to attend a decent meeting. Be grateful for what you have.
    The Roman Empire did not become great by holding meetings. It did so by killing everyone that opposed their point of view.

  9. #24
    Grey but not that old Alfbranch's Avatar
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    you need to get enough like minded Leaders to attend and outnumber these people then you can win any vote you want
    Alf

    Group Scout leader 1st Hensingham Scouts Western Lakes District
    http://www.hensinghamscouts.org.uk/
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  10. #25
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfbranch View Post
    you need to get enough like minded Leaders to attend and outnumber these people then you can win any vote you want
    Scouting is not a democracy. If the adc wants something, he can have it.

    Sent from my HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio using Tapatalk 2

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    Scouting is not a democracy. If the adc wants something, he can have it.

    Sent from my HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio using Tapatalk 2
    Not really true. If the adc, or anyone else, tries pushing where people don't want to be pushed then at best they alienate leaders who disconnect and do their own thing and at worst end up having to run pack and troop nights themselves.

  12. #27
    Keith at 2M Keith at 2M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfbranch View Post
    you need to get enough like minded Leaders to attend and outnumber these people then you can win any vote you want
    You are making massive assumptions here about the make up of the ESLs within the District.

    I currently do work with other like minded Leaders, its just they are in other Districts and Counties and I am criticised in my own District for doing that. I cannot understand this criticism - just because our District runs nothing why should my Unit suffer because of an unfortunate drawing of the District Boundaries? My ethos is that I want the best scouting available for the Young People I am responsible for. If that means looking further afield then I will do that.

    County run an excellent programme, yet we are usually the only Unit represented. You need a will to change things and you need to involve the young people in those changes. Just deciding on their behalf that they do not want joint activities or a District Forum is in my mind not good enough, but that implies criticism of the other leaders and does not go down well.

    Just avoiding the conflict is the easiest course of action. Its the Young People that lose out but other Units' Young People are not my responsibility, a sad statement but unfortunately true.
    The Roman Empire did not become great by holding meetings. It did so by killing everyone that opposed their point of view.

  13. #28
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith at 2M View Post
    In an ideal World I'd be prepared to fight but I look at the meeting and realise that in this instance things will not change. My head is already sore from banging. There have been no District events for at least two years and the Meeting did not consider that there was anything wrong with this...

    To instigate debate or change you need people who respect others' views or are at least prepared to listen, not just shout them down. What do I want from a meeting? - I want to discuss activities that work, I want an exciting District Programme to supplement what I am offering, especially events that I cannot offer. I want the meeting to consider the issues that concern my Explorers, not have their views dismissed as soon as I mention the fact I asked them if they had anything they wanted raised. They decided the Explorers would not want a District Explorer Forum. (and missed the irony in their decision)
    Sorry, but I think you should be making this absolutely crystal clear to your DESC.

    Am I right in saying it was your first district explorer meeting? Is there any chance at all that those "regulars" might have been a bit [not sure of the right word] put out by you coming in and trying to get new stuff off the ground? I mean, they've had no district wide events for two years, you saying there should have been, could they have seen that as you saying "you lot are rubbish, what have you been doing?" I may exaggerate a bit, but maybe some have gone on the defensive when they've seen their efforts (or lack of them) attacked.

    Why don't you offer to host/run the district forum? Or ask at the next meeting if the other leaders can actually ask their explorers if they want a district forum?

    It's not the easy path.

    Ian
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

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  14. #29
    Keith at 2M Keith at 2M's Avatar
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    Unfortunately the DESC is the main sticking point and yes, I probably have put their noses out of joint by questioning the status quo. We have a number of District Appointments where the incumbent likes the Job Title without wanting to do the job, the DESC being one of them. However, I feel the Young People deserve better, especially when their school friends attend Units over the border and can see a different programme on offer. Some have already defected East.

    I am aware of how I could make a difference but at this point in my life the easy path is the only one I can take.
    The Roman Empire did not become great by holding meetings. It did so by killing everyone that opposed their point of view.

  15. #30
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith at 2M View Post
    However, I feel the Young People deserve better, especially when their school friends attend Units over the border and can see a different programme on offer. Some have already defected East.

    I am aware of how I could make a difference but at this point in my life the easy path is the only one I can take.
    Well, maybe you could, you know, cross the border too. If they go to the same school, that's your "in". I'm not talking about your unit moving district, but maybe next door wouldn't mind a few extra explorers at events. Got nothing to lose by the sounds of it.

    Ian
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
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